Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Comments on September Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 10/22/2019 11:00:00 AM

Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 5.38 million in September

A few key points:

1) Existing home sales were up 3.9% year-over-year (YoY) in September.  This was the third consecutive YoY increase - following 16 consecutive months with a YoY decrease in sales

2) Inventory is still low, and was down 2.7% year-over-year (YoY) in September.

3) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus. See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in September.   The consensus was for sales of 5.45 million SAAR.  Lawler estimated the NAR would report 5.36 million SAAR in September, and the NAR actually reported 5.38 million SAAR.

Existing Home Sales YoY Click on graph for larger image.

4) Year-to-date sales are down about 1.7% compared to the same period in 2018.   On an annual basis, that would put sales around 5.25 million in 2019.  Sales slumped at the end of 2018 and in January 2019 due to higher mortgage rates, the stock market selloff, and fears of an economic slowdown.

The comparisons will be easier towards in Q4 of this year, and with lower mortgage rates, sales will probably finish the year unchanged or even up from 2018.

Existing Home Sales NSAThe second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

Sales NSA in September (452,000, red column) were well above sales in September 2018 (421,000, NSA). However there were more selling days in September 2019 than in 2018.

Overall this was a solid report.